What is “Marijuana”?

Marijuana” also known as weed, ganja, pot is a derivative of Cannabis, a plant that can be easily found in the Americas. The basic of the herb derives from the fact that the plant grows in the western part of North America. While the plant is Cannabis sativa, the name of this variety is commonly known as hemp or marijuana due to the common name of this kind of herb. 

THC, the main ingredient in marijuana that can produce the mind-altering “high” feeling. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the component that makes it very easy for people to be “high.”

However, many people still do tend to associate “Marijuana” with a psychological state called ‘psychedelic’. Psychedelic drugs are also referred to as ‘hallucinogens’ and are mainly used for relaxing the mind and adding pizzazz to the surroundings. People use marijuana with rolled cigarettes called joints or with the use of water pipes called bongs.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness in which a person loses the ability to think and feel, acts confused, and develops behavioural issues. The medical community has identified that the condition is a psychological and physical problem that causes a variety of different problems within the person’s body. This includes difficulty breathing, fatigue, and some form of loss of balance and coordination. 

The medical community has identified that these are all signs of a problem that is usually not treated correctly and can cause further harm to the person that has schizophrenia. If we talk about other symptoms, it can involve many problems either behavioral or emotional. People with schizophrenia could need lifelong treatment until they have their symptoms in control.

There are several types of “Schizophrenia”

  • Paranoid schizophrenia
  • Hebephrenic schizophrenia
  • Catatonic schizophrenia
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia
  • Residual schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia, in the most basic terms, is defined as when a person believes that something bad is going to happen to them, and they have no logical reason for their fear. A person with paranoid schizophrenia will also have the problem of feeling alienated from others, but he or she is often unable to accept that there is any problem at all, because they do not believe in anything beyond their hallucinations.

Hebephrenic Schizophrenia

In this type of schizophrenia, the patient is irrational and they believe that they are being persecuted and marginalized. The symptoms of Hebephrenic schizophrenia include the delusion that they are constantly being mistreated or abused by their family members, their peers, the authorities or even God.

Catatonic Schizophrenia

Catatonic schizophrenia patients are also characterized by changes in sleeping patterns and the patient tends to fall asleep too fast or too slow or they are unable to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. These patients are often nocturnal, which can interfere with family life and activities at work.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

This type of schizophrenia can be very hard to treat. Its frequency among many mental health patients increases over time, as there is no known cure for it. It is not completely understood why this schizophrenia has similar symptoms to other types of schizophrenia.

Residual Schizophrenia

It is a more advanced form of schizophrenia that is often accompanied by a slower recovery rate. It occurs when the disease has already persisted for several years and the patient no longer shows any symptoms. Residual schizophrenia is often triggered by the environment, which often causes the brain to build up a reaction that is very similar to the way it reacts to schizophrenia in the first place. 

Relationship Between Schizophrenia and Marijuana

Scientists now know that there is a connection between schizophrenia and marijuana. And, believe it or not, many patients do find relief from the side effects of marijuana use. One type of marijuana that seems to trigger schizophrenia is hashish, which is prepared from marijuana. Several patients have told researchers that hashish increased their paranoia and helped precipitate their psychosis. 

There are three major areas where marijuana and schizophrenia seem to intersect. First, marijuana use can produce the same symptoms that are typical of schizophrenia: delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, disorientation and all the other mental symptoms. It’s a very important fact about schizophrenia that the two conditions are not caused by the same thing. Schizophrenia is a mental illness, while marijuana use is a personal choice. 

And the typical symptoms of schizophrenia, such as strange behaviours, cannot be directly linked to marijuana. There is a lack of evidence that marijuana causes schizophrenia. But, there is a wealth of evidence that some forms of marijuana can worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Most people with schizophrenia do not use marijuana at all. But, when patients are under the influence of marijuana, they become more unstable, so much so that it takes them longer to make sense of what they are seeing and hearing. They may be more convinced that they are in a hallucinatory state. They may find themselves arguing with other people or even, at times, claiming to have lost contact with reality.

Effects of Marijuana on Schizophrenic People

The effects of marijuana on schizophrenic patients can be problematic. Still, many of you will agree that it can’t do any harm. But some of you believe that it is dangerous to use marijuana, for either the schizophrenic patient or others. The schizophrenia and marijuana issue is one that is being looked at heavily today.

Some studies have suggested that there may be an increased risk of schizophrenia and mental health issues when a patient has smoked marijuana in the past. Marijuana use may exacerbate mental health issues. The research also shows that the individual suffers more if they start smoking marijuana later in life. Interestingly, cannabis users tend to experience more severe symptoms of schizophrenia than non-users.

Health professionals debate these issues, and they are constantly looking for ways to counteract the potentially harmful effects of marijuana on schizophrenic patients. It’s hard to say whether there is a direct correlation between marijuana and schizophrenia, but it is a known fact that marijuana can lead to mood swings and negative effects on the body.

These people may be afflicted with conditions like a mental disorder or they may be those who are suffering from injuries, who find relief by using marijuana. But whatever the case, these people need to be able to make informed decisions about their medical conditions, including whether or not to use cannabis.

For this reason, many psychiatrists recommend that patients with schizophrenia try to avoid marijuana as much as possible. Studies have shown that marijuana use and schizophrenia may go hand in hand. This might mean that some patients may suffer from mental health disorders.

Medical treatments are available that are derived from natural ingredients and these are safer for patients to take. Scientists also know that marijuana does not have any immediate therapeutic benefits for people with schizophrenia. So, in many cases, it may be better to stop using marijuana altogether and learn to live and cope with the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Adverse Effects of Using “Marijuana” 

The growing popularity of cannabis has raised concerns about its adverse effects on users as well. When someone smokes marijuana, he can become susceptible to many adverse consequences of its use. Some of these consequences are obvious and some are not so apparent. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been proven to have some severe side effects on those who are taking it. These include:

  • Brain Damage: It has been established that THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) can cause brain damage. This is a serious problem, but it is not known how this happens.
  • Tinnitus: Some people suffer from tinnitus when using marijuana. The tinnitus can sometimes be severe enough to disturb others’ sleep patterns. This can lead to mental problems, as the person suffering from tinnitus may believe that they are being assaulted by voices in their head.
  • Ataxia: When the person uses marijuana occasionally, it can result in problems with balance. It can also result in the person becoming confused, due to their impaired mental abilities.
  • Drowsiness: If someone uses marijuana, it can cause drowsiness, which can impair their judgment. This can cause a person to drive dangerously, for example.
  • Schizophrenia: The brain of the schizophrenic person can be damaged by the high levels of THC in marijuana. 

To manage these repercussions, a person must learn how to take the necessary steps to avoid them. One way to prevent the unpleasant consequences of marijuana use is to follow proper drug dependency care programs. The amount of cannabis you take before turning eighteen can affect your chances to develop schizophrenic symptoms later in life.

It is better to get adequate drug dependency care than to continue to suffer from the disadvantages of this drug. It is a good idea to get the advice of a certified substance abuse counsellor, who can help determine the things that the individual needs to change and help them identify the addictive triggers that may have caused them to get hooked on marijuana. According to sources, incidents with confused people have increased by 60%.

Preventing the Use of Marijuana

There is a growing awareness amongst people and society is taking steps to prevent the use of marijuana, particularly amongst teenagers. All efforts are now focused on building awareness about the severe impact of cannabis on mental health, a problem that is likely to get worse before it gets better. There are many different causes of this problem and we will examine the factors that cause the negative consequences of cannabis use.

Many of you believe that the only way to prevent the use of marijuana is by making use of stricter laws and penalties. They try to convince you that what we see today is the inevitable result of the war on drugs. 

They are probably right, but the fact of the matter is that the fight against drugs is not yet won. If the prohibitionists would just admit that the war on drugs has failed, then they would have the ability to start working toward a new direction. It would seem that the only way to fight against the illegal drug trade is to not let it happen in the first place.

Conclusion

Understanding the importance of mental health and thereby preventing the use of drugs is important. People who are addicted to drugs do not see the repercussion in the use of these drugs and there is an emotional bond created with the drug that causes the individual with an addiction to continue using. This creates a vicious cycle that can not only create serious problems for the person who is addicted but the entire family as well.

Preventing the use of drugs by treating the addiction as early as possible whilst having a severe mental illness is the most important thing to do when it comes to looking after your mental health. Treatment should be done early on because it is the nature of the individual with an addiction to deny the existence of their problem especially with individuals who are schizophrenic. Some may have had some traumatic experiences which caused them to resort to drug use as well. If you or your loved one is addicted to drugs and you want to stop this, then the sooner the better for you and your loved one to seek professional help. 

Addiction to drugs is a disease in itself and therefore, various approaches need to be taken depending on the severity of the addiction.

Sources

https://www.psychiatrist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/17913_substance-abuse-schizophrenia-review.pdf

https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ps.40.8.847?journalCode=pshttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00048679509075894

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-prevent-a-child-from-using-marijuana-63561

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2020-11-25/health/marijuana-and-health-risks-do-you-know-all-the-facts/a72229-1

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-marijuana

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354449

https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/conditions/schizophrenia/types-of-schizophrenia/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol

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